If you follow me on social media, you may have seen a number of posts with the hashtag #hotmessHattie. They have taken on a bit of a life of their own, mostly because this three-year-old ray of sunshine embodies everything that hashtag implies. I thank God everyday that she’s mine—as challenging as she might be—because her gifts are unending, her smile is infectious, and the lessons she has taught me are unlike anything I’ve ever learned.
1. Stop worrying so much…about the little things. The way your hair looks. The clothes you wear—even if they’re on backwards. More days than not, she comes downstairs in the morning fully clothed (not matching and usually backwards or inside out), hair a mess.
Me: Hattie, your shirt is on backwards.
Hattie: I know.
Me: You want me to fix it for you?
Hattie: Nope. I’m good.
Nope. I’m good. What a beautiful concept. My three-year-old telling me, “Let me do me, Mommy.”
And I do. Not sure that’s the right parenting move, but I do. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? Not to me and surely not to her. You do you, Hattie. And I’ll watch you with love and admiration at every turn.
PS–she also brushes her teeth most mornings, which garners a tremendous amount of leeway 😉
2. Love…a lot and without condition. This child loves, and she loves hard. She is convicted in her compassion, and that compassion knows no bounds or qualifiers. She is untouched by cynicism or the influence of others. I pray it stays that way always, that she remains unaffected by any outside factors that would teach her otherwise. That may be my biggest challenge as her mother–to give her the room to let her develop into the person SHE wants to be, because that is something we should all be afforded.
3. Go crazy (maybe not at bedtime ;)…but go crazy! Dance and sing and laugh and lose your shit, because why not??? What good does bottling up all that fun and excitement and entertainment do anyone? So cliche, but life is too short to walk around with a stick up your ass trying to do what everyone else thinks is right or proper. Let your hair down (even though you barely have enough for a ponytail), rock that sheepskin vest with no shirt underneath, sing to the top of your lungs to the Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down”. I will always be your adoring audience.
Thank you, Hattie McCoy, for challenging me as a person and a parent, for showing me the lessons that can be learned through the unfiltered mind and heart of a child. I love you.
Random Thought: If you are unwilling to see the shortcomings of “your side” (whatever side that may be), you are denying yourself the opportunity to solidify and strengthen your stance. Open your eyes to see and your ears to hear the thoughts and feelings of those who differ from you. You might be surprised.
Recipe: Pick up to-go from your favorite Mexican food restaurant (they always pack it in those neat little disposable aluminum containers), stick it in the oven, and serve at dinner time! (Don’t judge–I’ve been very up front about my culinary inadequacies 😉